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Theater Owners Shouldn’t Count on the MPAA to “Protect Jobs”

January 25, 2012 Innovation , MPAA , SOC , SOPA , Video Innovation

Former Senator Chris Dodd has been buttering the popcorn of movie theater owners since becoming Hollywood’s chief lobbyist. So it’s not surprising to see the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) and the MPAA commiserating together over what happened to SOPA. They’re united in the delusion that the revolt of Internet users was started and orchestrated by Google–it’s more comforting, no doubt, to paint a large corporation as the bad guy, instead of facing up to the reality of a populist revolt against your own greed and overreach.

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SOPAStrike — The Day After

January 19, 2012 MPAA , Protect IP Act , SOPA

Yesterday was absolutely one of those days that reminds me why I stay in public advocacy. I’m a democracy junkie. Yes, I admit it. The sight of literally millions of people remembering that they are citizens and not just consumers gets me juiced.

The good news is that by every possible metric, SOPAStrike was an enormous success. We absolutely shocked the poop out of members of Congress and broke through the infamous “Washington bubble” that separates our elected officials from what is actually going on in the real world. As a result, we forced more than 20 Senators to come out publicly against PIPA/SOPA, including a number of co-sponsors withdrawing support. Fantastic!

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It worked for China, why not the United States?

December 15, 2011 MPAA , Piracy , Protect IP Act , SOPA

This is the question that is before Congress as it decides on what to do with the Domain Name Server filtering provisions in the Stopping Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA).  Public Knowledge has advocated from the beginning against this provision because it would make the Internet less secure, sacrifice our moral high ground internationally, and to top it off it will do nothing to deter Internet piracy.  So while many would experience revulsion at the idea of adopting any tool that is used in the Great Firewall of China, the proponents of SOPA and PIPA have in fact, embraced it.

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What Warner’s Recklessness Says About SOPA

November 11, 2011 MPAA , SOPA

Warner Bros. on Monday admitted to removing content from Hotfile.com that Warner never even looked at and didn’t actually own.  The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), currently pending in the House of Representatives, give companies like Warner incredible new levels of power that they have never had under the DMCA.  If Warner’s recklessness under the current legal framework shows us anything, it’s that Congress’ proposition to give these kinds of companies even greater power is about as sensible as parents giving to their teenager the keys to the brand new family car after he just got a DUI crashing the old one. 

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MPAA Urges Congress to Ignore Evidence in Favor of “Common Sense”

September 20, 2011 Enforcement , MPAA , Piracy

Today, the MPAA and other movie industry groups sent a letter to the Senate urging them to pass S. 968, the PROTECT IP Act. The letter attempts to handwave away real questions about the bill’s effects on security and free speech with some awfully weak arguments embedded within its refrains of “piracy is a problem” and “we are a big industry.”

No one contests that movies are a big industry, or that there’s a lot of infringement on the Internet. But those aren’t the questions before Congress. The question really is whether S. 968 does any net good. And from here, it certainly doesn’t look like it.

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